Finding the right weight loss diet for you
As we all know losing fat doesn’t just mean increasing cardio and training harder (although this does help). Majority of the battle against fat is done in the kitchen and what you eat. So, if you are looking to shed a few extra pounds and are not sure where to start in the kitchen this is the article for you. We are going to be going over the basics to finding the best diet for weight loss for you.
Have a plan
The first thing to do is formulate a plan. Depending on your goals you may have to slowly creep into a calorie deficit, so you don’t just go into a crash diet. This could be more harmful to your goals as you may end up binge eating. The best thing to do would be to start small for example be in a 200-calorie deficit for a week then the next week increase the deficit by 100 calories. Rapidly decreasing the calories, you consume like going on a crash diet can weaken your immune system and you may be deprived of nutrients needed for normal bodily functions.
Eat good calories
Now you have the number of calories you are consuming, that leaves the quality of calories. As you are decreasing the amount of calories you are eating, you don’t really want to be eating very calorie dense foods. These can include things like fried foods and sugary foods. As these are very dense in calories, they have little volume and will leave you hungry and wanting more. So its recommended to eat foods high in fibre like vegetables at every meal to make you feel fuller.
Don't forget your macros
When planning out meals its important to count your calories and make sure you are not exceeding you daily goal. This can be hard but it can be very easy to over eat when not tracking calories and this happening multiple times could render your previous effort useless. Although tracking calories it is also a good idea to track macro nutrients. There are seven macronutrients but the few you want to be focusing on when planning a diet plan are protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibre and water.
When formulating a diet for yourself its important to include plenty of protein. Protein will help you feel fuller for longer which is a bonus as hunger is bound to strike with the reduced calories. When losing weight the protein will also help you maintain most of your lean mass so less muscle will be lost. Protein is also very hard to store as fat so sources of protein are best being low fat, for example lean beef, fish, lentils, white meat etc…
Carbohydrates also need to be monitored when losing weight. Research has shown low carb diets to be good for weigh loss but carbs shouldn’t be cut out altogether. Carbohydrates can make us feel full and supply us with enough energy to live. When choosing what carbohydrates to include in our diet try and avoid any sugary carbs or anything that is burned fast. Things like wholemeal bread, vegetables and fruit are good sources of carbohydrates that are healthy.
Fibre is also a nutrient that is very helpful when on a diet. This acts as a natural appetite suppressor which means you won’t feel as hungry if you get plenty of fibre. Fibre also encourages gut bacteria diversity as soluble fibre is turned into short chain fatty acids that are linked to reduced fat. Soluble fibre is found in plant-based foods like flax seeds, sweet potatoes and oranges.
When it comes to fats these ideally want to be kept low. Saturated fats are ones to try and avoid but not all fats are bad. Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are associated with a lower body weight and lower risk of heart disease or diabetes, that why these are known as “the good fats”. Monosaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, nuts and peanut butter. Polyunsaturated fats are found in seeds like pumpkin and flax, walnuts, fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, haddock) ,tofu and soy milk.
Staying hydrated is also crucial when trying to lose weight. Water can boost your metabolism and cleanse your body of any waste. Also drinking water is a great healthy alternative to fizzy drinks that contribute to your daily calorie intake. Water can also supress your appetite if you are feeling hungry between meals. So, the key here is to stay hydrated.
Although these are the things to look for when finding the right weight loss diet, its best to just find what works for you. At the end of the day whatever your diet maybe it will be down to personal preference and its important to find something you can sustain. It would be wise to try and find healthy alternatives to unhealthy foods, for example replacing fizzy drinks with flavoured sparkling water. Also don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a wile (in moderation). A sugary treat or greasy burger wouldn’t be so bad at the end of the week to celebrate a weeks hard work would it?